How Much Should I Eat?

I’m 6’0", 177lbs, approx 15% bodyfat.
3x5 Lifts:
Squat 145#
Press 80#
Bench Press 95#
Deadlift 215#
Power Clean 85#

My spread of macro-nutrients over the past 2 weeks:
http://www.blackaeon.net/nutrients.jpg

My daily caloric intake over the past 2 weeks:
http://www.blackaeon.net/FoodCalories4283.csv

I began the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe two weeks ago and not been having 5# gains every workout like it’s suggested I should.

I was eating 4000 kcals a day but I see that is probably too little. This calculator gives me 4000kcals, 4400kcals if I add 10% for being hyperactive from overeating: Massive Eating - Part 1 . I also noticed that his weekly surplus was 3000kcals whereas mine would be closer to 1500 given the same calculation, so does that mean I should add another 200 kcals per day for a total of 4600 kcals?

“Starting Strength” and a trainer I spoke to recommended to eat as many as 6000 kcals, the calculator shows much less. Should I eat that much more since I’m new to strength gain?

I’ve been doing crossfit 3-5 times a week for the past 8 months but I haven’t made muscle gains(only flexibility and conditioning) because I was probably eating less than 2000 kcals a day. I don’t know if this changes anything.

Lastly, in Starting Strength, Rippetoe states that macro-nutrient ratios aren’t that important, is this true in the beginning? When does it become less true? What kind of difference will I notice if I improve the ratios? Are mine too far out of whack?

What are your goals?

Macronutrient ratios are important. From the beginning. Read more on this but the most important things to keep in mind are to eat lots of protein at each meal, and have more carbs around your workout.

Adjust your eating based on results, not on some calculations. Calculations just give you an approximate starting point. If you are gaining strength and (mostly good) weight, that’s great. If you are not, eat more. If you are gaining too much fat, eat less. And make sure you are killing it in the gym.

My goal is to
Squat: 1.5x bodyweight
Deadlift: 1.75x bodyweight
Bench Press: 1x bodyweight

I don’t need to be huge, simply gain a decent base strength. Supposedly I can easily do that in four months with ample time to spare for maintenance before I cut, but I have to follow the plan closely.

The other thing I’m worried about is that in order to match the protein percentage in that ratio, I’d have to eat over 400g of protein. That’s more than 2.2 g/lb of bodyweight! I thought the upper limit was 1.6.

This is what I ate yesterday: http://www.blackaeon.net/DailySummary4282.csv

There’s not really an “upper limit,” but 400g is most certainly an unnecessary amount of protein. For someone relatively untrained at 6’0" and 177 pounds, 4000 calories sounds like a lot to start out with though. How has your weight changed the last 2 weeks, eating 4000 calories/day? I’d think starting around 3000, and adjusting based on what happens with your body, would be better.

Another thing to look at if you’re eating that much and your lifts aren’t going up at this stage, is your intensity in the gym. Look around when you’re there. Are you working harder than just about everyone else? Because in most gyms, most people aren’t working as hard as they could be.

I’d say I’m not working as hard as I’m used to in the gym, but I’m certainly working harder than most of the people there. I say I’m not working as hard as I’m used to because my workouts are intense because of the heavy weight, not the volume and speed. I’m absolutely busting my ass on the squats and deadlifts, the presses are starting to get harder too. Here is the plan I’m using:
I start with a 500m row then these two workouts alternate 3 days a week:

For each movement I do a warmup of 2x5 bar, then 1x3 and 1x2 of increments in weight.

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
5x3 Power Clean

Then twice a week I do the IBUR workout from here: Running Man
It’s more so that I don’t lose my mind due to laziness than for fat gain mitigation.

I’ve gained 5 lbs over the past two weeks, up from 172. I seem to have gained a signifcant amount of muscle and a little fat. The thing that worries me is that I haven’t been able to increase my lifts a couple times over the past week. My deadlift should have increased by 5# twice but I’m stuck at 215# and my squat should have increased to 150# but I got stuck at 145# yesterday. My numbers started at:
Squat 100
Press 75
Deadlift 185

So if 400g is too much protein, what am I supposed to do about those ratios? Do I adjust the protein down to 1.6g/lb of bodyweight even if I’m only eating 20% protein, and do I split those calories evenly among fat and carbs?

I’d say I’m not working as hard as I’m used to in the gym, but I’m certainly working harder than most of the people there. I say I’m not working as hard as I’m used to because my workouts are intense because of the heavy weight, not the volume and speed. I’m absolutely busting my ass on the squats and deadlifts, the presses are starting to get harder too. Here is the plan I’m using:
I start with a 500m row then these two workouts alternate 3 days a week:

For each movement I do a warmup of 2x5 bar, then 1x3 and 1x2 of increments in weight.

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
5x3 Power Clean

Then twice a week I do the IBUR workout from here: Running Man
It’s more so that I don’t lose my mind due to laziness than for fat gain mitigation.

I’ve gained 5 lbs over the past two weeks, up from 172. I seem to have gained a signifcant amount of muscle and a little fat. The thing that worries me is that I haven’t been able to increase my lifts a couple times over the past week. My deadlift should have increased by 5# twice but I’m stuck at 215# and my squat should have increased to 150# but I got stuck at 145# yesterday. My numbers started at:
Squat 100
Press 75
Deadlift 185

[quote]gtech wrote:
I’ve gained 5 lbs over the past two weeks, up from 172. I seem to have gained a signifcant amount of muscle and a little fat. The thing that worries me is that I haven’t been able to increase my lifts a couple times over the past week. My deadlift should have increased by 5# twice but I’m stuck at 215# and my squat should have increased to 150# but I got stuck at 145# yesterday. My numbers started at:
Squat 100
Press 75
Deadlift 185

So if 400g is too much protein, what am I supposed to do about those ratios? Do I adjust the protein down to 1.6g/lb of bodyweight even if I’m only eating 20% protein, and do I split those calories evenly among fat and carbs?[/quote]

The thing is, I think 400g of protein for you is overdoing it in the same way I think 4000 calories for you to start with is overdoing it, and gaining 2.5 pounds/week is overdoing it. BUT! I also thinking listening to your body is much more important than putting arbitrary ‘maximums’ on what you should eat/how much you should gain. So, if you honestly think most of what you are gaining is muscle, then maybe you really are putting that much protein and calories to good use. “Newb gains” are hard to put limits on. So I’d say keep going, but re-evaluate every few weeks and adjust your eating accordingly.

Have you read Starting Strength, or just looked at the basic program online? I believe he writes about what to do when you stall, doesn’t he? I believe you are just supposed to reset the weights a bit lower and keep going… maybe you just set your starting weights too high (I have not read it so I am not 100% sure on this). It’s also possible you just had a bad workout or two, it’s only been two weeks.

This. I wish I paid more attention to nutrition when I started two years ago. I am currently dropping weight (15lbs down, morning weight) and gaining strength. I don’t thing I needed to carry the additional fat as long as I did. It looks bad, and it was not benefiting me in any way. Since I’ve been tracking my calories and macro-nutrients, I am seeing much better progress. Stu also set me straight as far as caloric needs - in the past I had just sorta skimmed over anything nutrition wise, estimating what I was doing - it is truly eye opening to actually measure and be accountable for even slight changes in diet (these will add up).

[quote]Gmoore17 wrote:

[quote]gtech wrote:
I’ve gained 5 lbs over the past two weeks, up from 172. I seem to have gained a signifcant amount of muscle and a little fat. The thing that worries me is that I haven’t been able to increase my lifts a couple times over the past week. My deadlift should have increased by 5# twice but I’m stuck at 215# and my squat should have increased to 150# but I got stuck at 145# yesterday. My numbers started at:
Squat 100
Press 75
Deadlift 185

So if 400g is too much protein, what am I supposed to do about those ratios? Do I adjust the protein down to 1.6g/lb of bodyweight even if I’m only eating 20% protein, and do I split those calories evenly among fat and carbs?[/quote]

The thing is, I think 400g of protein for you is overdoing it in the same way I think 4000 calories for you to start with is overdoing it, and gaining 2.5 pounds/week is overdoing it. BUT! I also thinking listening to your body is much more important than putting arbitrary ‘maximums’ on what you should eat/how much you should gain. So, if you honestly think most of what you are gaining is muscle, then maybe you really are putting that much protein and calories to good use. “Newb gains” are hard to put limits on. So I’d say keep going, but re-evaluate every few weeks and adjust your eating accordingly.

Have you read Starting Strength, or just looked at the basic program online? I believe he writes about what to do when you stall, doesn’t he? I believe you are just supposed to reset the weights a bit lower and keep going… maybe you just set your starting weights too high (I have not read it so I am not 100% sure on this). It’s also possible you just had a bad workout or two, it’s only been two weeks.
[/quote]

[quote]gtech wrote:

This is what I ate yesterday: http://www.blackaeon.net/DailySummary4282.csv[/quote]
From your link:
Oats
Whey Protein
Milk 13 Cups
Almonds
Peanut Butter
Strawberries
If this is a typical day your diet is pretty poor. There’s also a PDF from Rippetoe about YNDTP you could read.

You will see gains on the milk. It’s not horrible.

But, I suggest less milk, more eggs, more beef. (I’m saying this based on experience; I lived primarily off of milk for several months.) I suggest making protein shakes out of half&half instead of milk.

Also, you need a vitamin/mineral source. Preferably colorful vegetables (like bell peppers), cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli), and leafy greens (like spinach, kale, watercress). Multivitamins will work OK until you get all that sorted out.

[quote]Gmoore17 wrote:
If you are gaining strength and (mostly good) weight, that’s great. If you are not, eat more. If you are gaining too much fat, eat less.[/quote]

Also, this. Just track the numbers (intake and bodyweight) and make slow adjustments. There’s a lot of flux in bodyweight during a day anyway… even morning BW numbers can vary quite a bit day-to-day.

you’re gonna gain a lot of strength if you’re just starting training or just coming off a layoff. i’d try and eat about 3000-3500, maybe think about cycling your carbs or just keeping them a little lower than normal. dropping bf% will benefit you hormone-wise and will also help you get closer to your body weight relative goals.

Okay so this is my new diet, I picked one off of the Starting Strength FAQ then tweaked it to decrease the calories by 500. What am I supposed to do about the preworkout and postworkout meals on off days? Should I replace the waximaize with the equivalent number of carbs in oatmeal?

Breakfast

6 Egg Whites
2 Cups Nonfat Milk
1/2 Cup of Oatmeal
1 tblespoon olive oil
3g Fish Oil

Mid-Morning Snack
1/2 Banana
2 Cups Whole Milk + Scoop of whey
3g fish oil

Lunch
4 oz Turkey breast
2 slices whole grain bead

Preworkout
1/2cup waximaize
1 scoop whey

Postworkout
3/4cup waximaize
2 scoops whey

1 hour postworkout
4oz steak
1/2cup lentils
3g fish oil
salad

Final Meal
1cup cottage cheese
2tblespoons ANPB
2cups nonfat milk
3g fish oil

I’d personally be worried if you’re unable to make the 10lb/lift goal on the squat and deadlift at the start of your plan. It sort of sounds like the problem I had when I started out close to a year ago.

I was on SS for four months while drinking a liter of milk a day (LOMAD) instead of GOMAD, as I thought GOMAD would be overkill on someone who’s considerably shorter than 6 foot.

I ended up gaining a lot of weight and stalling on all of the lifting-gains. Stalled on the squat at 165lb (starting from 100ish). Dead-lift at 260lb (135). Bench and OHP didn’t really improve at all.

I then had to take a two month break from lifting due to travel.

After coming back, I decided to not worry nearly as much on what I eat and focus more on the lifting aspect. I basically toned down my diet to roughly at about or slightly above (occasionally over-eating) my daily requirement and just began doing all lifts 3x/week.

I’ve had considerably better gains since then.

Don’t stop SS. It’s great. I’m just encouraging you to focus more on the lifting aspect than the nutrition. It seems to be more important for beginners like you and me to go all-out on the lifting than worrying about whether we’re eating enough. I certainly made a helluva lot more gains when I stopped worrying too much about getting 3-4k calories/day and instead focused entirely on the lifting.

[quote]magick wrote:

Don’t stop SS. It’s great. I’m just encouraging you to focus more on the lifting aspect than the nutrition. It seems to be more important for beginners like you and me to go all-out on the lifting than worrying about whether we’re eating enough. I certainly made a helluva lot more gains when I stopped worrying too much about getting 3-4k calories/day and instead focused entirely on the lifting.

[/quote]

Hmm that seems odd. I’m sure it worked for you, but it seems in most cases, people need to focus a lot more on nutrition. Whatever workout plan you do isn’t that important as long as you’re in there working your ass off. Most people’s issue is not eating enough, or eating shitty foods. OP that new posted diet looks much much better.

[quote]Gmoore17 wrote:

[quote]magick wrote:

Don’t stop SS. It’s great. I’m just encouraging you to focus more on the lifting aspect than the nutrition. It seems to be more important for beginners like you and me to go all-out on the lifting than worrying about whether we’re eating enough. I certainly made a helluva lot more gains when I stopped worrying too much about getting 3-4k calories/day and instead focused entirely on the lifting.

[/quote]

Hmm that seems odd. I’m sure it worked for you, but it seems in most cases, people need to focus a lot more on nutrition. Whatever workout plan you do isn’t that important as long as you’re in there working your ass off. Most people’s issue is not eating enough, or eating shitty foods. OP that new posted diet looks much much better.[/quote]

Okay thanks. The one question I really need answered though is the one about the maximaize. I don’t know whether just to cut it out and be eating that many fewer carbs on off days, or if I should replace it with a complex carb.

I assume you mean Waximaize, but I’d just cut it out and have fewer carbs on your off days

[quote]Gmoore17 wrote:
I assume you mean Waximaize, but I’d just cut it out and have fewer carbs on your off days[/quote]

Haha yeah I meant Waximaize. Okay wow thanks so much you’ve been a fantastic help.